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How To Send A Phone From The US To Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide

Avatar of Joan Agie By Joan Agie Nov15,2023
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If you’ve come across this guide, you probably have a mobile phone ready to be sent to Nigeria from the US. Yes, shipping phones internationally can be a tricky and tedious process, especially with all the individual factors to consider. But you’ll be glad to know that it’s much less complicated once you’re equipped with all the information you need. 

To say that mobile phones have become so interwoven with our daily lives is an understatement; in fact, many of us can’t get by in our day-to-day activities without them. Also, the need to ship a phone from any one location to another arises randomly, and it then becomes imperative to pay attention to the topic of efficient international shipping processes.

Now, this guide comes packed with all the details on what to expect, as well as factors to consider and plan for when sending a phone from the US to Nigeria. You can also expect to find generally helpful tips in this guide to make the process seamless and successful. 

How To Send A Phone From The US To Nigeria

Important Things To Do When Sending A Phone From The US To Nigeria

When you’re set to send a phone from the US to Nigeria, there are several things to consider — crucial aspects on which the success of the entire shipping process rests. You’ll need to decide on the best international shipping option, choose a shipping service provider, and prepare for customs regulations, among several other things.

It can be a lot to remember and effectively plan for, so here’s a quick checklist of some of the most important things to do when sending a phone from the US to Nigeria. Each item on this list will be further explained below:

  • Assess the available sending options
  • Choose the best shipping service
  • Get familiar with custom regulations
  • Insure your package
  • Package the phone for shipping
  • Label and document your package

Now, to the first question…

What are the available sending options?

When you first realize that you’ll need to send a phone from the US to Nigeria, it’s worth it to first assess all the options you have available and determine which one works best. Naturally, many people’s first choice is to send things through someone they know personally, perhaps because they trust them to get the package to the intended recipient. Unfortunately, this option is not always available, but it makes sense to first try to confirm.

Before seeking other alternatives, first check with everyone in your network of family and friends to see if there’s anyone you know traveling from the US to Nigeria, and willing to act in the capacity of a courier. Reach out to acquaintances and also take advantage of their networks. If you’re unable to find any such person, then it’s time to proceed to other available options such as a shipping service.

What is the best shipping service to use?

Once you’ve established that using a shipping service is inevitable, the next step is to decide on which one to use. You’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a reliable shipping service option that works for both your budget and timeline. It’s also important to consider options that allow you to track your package while it’s en route to Nigeria. 

There are several shipping service options available and the usual choice is between air courier options since they’re the most suitable category to ship phones and other small packages. Let’s discuss some of the top ones, as well as what they typically offer for phone shipping needs:

  • FedEx: FedEx offers shipping services from the US to Nigeria, providing various options to suit different needs. They offer a range of shipping options, including express and economy services, with varying delivery speeds and costs. 

The cost of shipping a phone from the US to Nigeria with FedEx can vary based on factors like the state in the US where the package is being sent from and the chosen logistics company. Additionally, FedEx’s rates may differ depending on the selected shipping service, whether Express or Economy. To get accurate details and costs tailored to your situation, visit the official FedEx website or contact their customer support for precise information and guidance.

  • ShiptoNaija: ShiptoNaija is another international shipping service you can take advantage of to send a phone from the US to Nigeria. They offer competitive shipping rates, with costs as low as $3.49 per pound for air shipping from the USA to Nigeria. 

Their delivery service is also relatively quick, with shipping options that can get your package to Nigeria in as little as 3 days for air shipping. There are also options for online tracking and notifications for your shipment, so you can keep an eye on its progress.

  • DHL: DHL is a global leader in the logistics industry and specializes in international shipping and courier services. Their shipping costs can range from $30 to $50 depending on the package and other factors. They offer a fast delivery option, DHL Express, which can deliver packages from the USA to Nigeria in as little as  2-4 business days. To know the exact cost of shipping a phone with DHL from the US to Nigeria, you can visit the DHL website and request a shipping quote online.

Other shipping service options you could try include ParcelMonkey, USPS Priority Mail International, USPS First Class International, and UPS, among others.

You would need to evaluate which shipping service offers the best value in terms of the shipping cost, reliability, and speed, as well as any extra perks such as tracking services to monitor the shipment’s progress and delivery status.

What customs regulations should I be aware of?

After you’ve decided on the shipping option and service to use, another crucial factor to be aware of when sending a phone from the US to Nigeria is relevant customs regulations and any applicable import duties and taxes. You’ll need to ensure that you comply with any such requirements to prevent hindrances to the successful delivery of the phone to its recipient in Nigeria.

Nigeria has a list of goods that are typically prohibited from being brought into the country or are otherwise restricted. It’s essential to check this list to ensure that the phone you’re sending or any extra package you’re adding is not on it, as sending prohibited goods can lead to legal issues and confiscation at customs checkpoints.

When shipping to Nigeria, it’s also important to declare all personal items and valuable belongings on a packing list and a separate customs form, including the phone’s value, to comply with customs regulations. You’ll also want to make sure you’re aware of the duty costs associated with sending the phone from the US to Nigeria, as calculated based on the FOB (Free On Board) value of the phone and the prevailing exchange rate. 

Do I need shipping insurance?

During transit, packages and goods get lost sometimes; it’s one of those things you pray never happen to you, but the possibility does exist. It’s a no-brainer to want to avoid such a situation, and that’s why it’s smart to consider getting shipping insurance when you’re sending a phone from the US to Nigeria. 

Shipping insurance works by providing financial protection against the loss or damage of items during transit. It essentially reimburses you with the value of a lost or damaged item, offering some sort of peace of mind when your package is in transit by covering unforeseen circumstances beyond the carrier’s control.

Shipping insurance costs typically depend on coverage levels, the value of the package, and the chosen carrier, and are usually calculated to match the level of protection needed. Some reliable shipping services such as DHL or FedEx, offer different insurance options, but it’s also possible to explore independent third-party insurers if needed. 

To claim reimbursement if the need arises, you would simply have to report the missing or damaged package to the carrier or insurer. Carriers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS have specific procedures for filing claims, and it’s a good idea to contact their representatives to get all the information you need to make the process easy and successful.

How do I prepare the phone for shipping?

Let’s say at this point, you’ve figured out how you’ll send the phone from the US to Nigeria, as well as how to work around factors like insurance and customs regulations to guarantee its safety and delivery to the recipient. There’s still the concern of ensuring that the phone gets to its recipient in the best condition possible. It then becomes important to prepare the phone for the shipping process, packaging it well enough to minimize the chances of it getting damaged in transit. So how can you achieve this?

Pay close attention to these steps on how to package a phone in preparation for shipping:

  • Before you start, ensure that you have all the required materials. Get a cardboard box, bubble wrap or newspaper, packing tape, and kraft paper if available.
  • Also, ensure that the cell phone is turned off before the packaging process commences. Leaving the phone on might have an impact on its lithium-ion battery and even be a potential travel hazard.
  • Now, the best way to ship a cellphone is by using its original packaging. If you have it, simply place the device in its box, close the lid tightly, and secure it with packing tape. For extra protection, wrap the box in bubble wrap or newspaper.
  • If for some reason you don’t have the original packaging, no need to fret. Just start by wrapping the cell phone in at least two layers of bubble wrap, ensuring that it’s well-protected. Keep any accessories separate from the cell phone. Since you’re sending it internationally, consider placing the wrapped cell phone into a padded envelope for an additional layer of protection.
  • When selecting a shipping box, make sure you pick one that is just a few inches larger than the cellphone you’re shipping. A properly sized box will prevent the phone from moving around during transit.
  • To prevent any impact, cushion the bottom of the box with bubble wrap, kraft paper, or newspaper.
  • Afterward, carefully place the wrapped cell phone into the box, making sure it’s snug within the box. To ensure minimal movement of the phone during shipping, fill the remaining space with padding materials like bubble wrap or more kraft paper or newspaper.
  • Finally, close the box and seal it firmly with packing tape. Make sure it’s securely closed to protect the cellphone during its journey.

When you follow the above steps carefully, you’ll ensure that your cellphone is well-protected and ready for safe shipping.

How do I label the package properly before sending it?

A crucial part of shipping goods is proper labeling and documentation to prevent issues such as missing or damaged items, delayed deliveries, and customs complications. There are different labels for different specific purposes; for instance, you can use document-enclosed labels to keep address details and invoices safe during shipping; handling instruction labels such as ‘Fragile’, ‘Handle with care’, or ‘Do not crush’ are useful for packages that require special care and instructions for handling; hazard labels work well for dangerous goods; and specialist labels are useful for sensitive items like electronics.

If you’re not sure which packaging label is appropriate to use for the phone you want to send, it’s a good idea to contact your preferred shipping service for the best advice. Once you’ve confirmed which label works best, stick the label on the largest surface of the package to guarantee its visibility to the carriers. Consider adding a simple address label that states the address of the intended recipient and your return address, essentially anything that contributes to making the shipping process much easier and devoid of confusion. 

Also ensure that the package displays required information like the name of the product, country of origin, and other details as per Nigeria’s labeling requirements. Furthermore, based on Nigeria’s updated policy of inspecting goods at their destination rather than before shipment, consider providing a bill of lading, commercial invoice, exit note, and other necessary documentation to receive clearance. 

If you get confused, ask questions from your chosen shipping service and consult official web pages to get information on Nigeria’s import requirements and documentation, as well as necessary labeling and marking requirements.

Sending A Phone From The US To Nigeria

How can I track the phone while in transit?

When you send packages through major shipping service providers, you typically receive a tracking number. This number allows you and the carrier to monitor the package’s status and location. Even if you can’t find the tracking number, it’s always possible to contact the shipping company with other information from the receipt that may help track the package.

There are several benefits to actively tracking your shipment when you’re sending a phone from the US to Nigeria. Apart from helping both you and the recipient get updates about the shipment’s location and estimated delivery time, tracking is also beneficial to stay informed about the shipment’s progress through customs, ensuring compliance with regulations and facilitating a smoother clearance process.

Now, already mentioned earlier in this guide are some shipping service providers that offer tracking options when sending packages from the US to Nigeria, but how can you effectively take advantage of the tracking services they offer to get real-time updates about the progress of your package’s journey? 

Below is a list of some of the top shipping service providers and how to track any package you’re sending through them:

  • UPS: If you’re using UPS to send your package, simply visit UPS Tracking and enter your tracking number for real-time updates.
  • USPS: For packages sent through USPS, go to for USPS international package tracking.
  • FedEx: When tracking a package sent through FedEx, simply enter your tracking number on the FedEx website to get an update on the shipment status.
  • DHL: You can also track your shipment on DHL by entering the tracking number.

Note that other tracking services such as Parcel Monitor and Track24 cover hundreds of carriers for package tracking. All you would need to do is input your tracking number in the required field to get real-time status updates.

How does customs clearance work when the phone gets to Nigeria?

If you’re already familiar with Nigeria’s customs clearance processes, you’ll know that it can take weeks to clear imported goods. As such, it becomes important to do everything possible to expedite the process and get the phone to its recipient without any avoidable delays.

When sending packages from the US to Nigeria, the customs clearance process typically involves presenting necessary documents such as a bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list, exit document, single goods declaration, a properly completed Form ‘M’ entry declaration, and a product certificate. Besides these required documents, you’ll also need to pay customs duty based on the shipment’s value. 

It’s a good idea to organize a documentation checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything that could result in a clearance delay. Since a failure to pay the customs duty is another potential source of delay, it makes sense to also plan for this. The rates typically differ based on the product, but you can expect to pay between 5-35% of the value of your shipment.

Understand that your package is very likely to undergo customs processing, which involves an examination of relevant paperwork by the customs officers. This is where accuracy becomes crucial, especially regarding shipping labels and commercial information, so don’t forget to take that step seriously when preparing the package for shipment. 

The necessary documents will be processed at the Customs Processing Center (CPC) and dispatched to a customs-bonded warehouse. You can find extensive details on what to expect from the clearing process here. The entire customs clearance process may take a week or more, depending on the type of imported goods and whatever regulations are currently in place in Nigeria at the time of sending. So it makes sense to plan for the sending time with these factors if you’re working within a strict timeframe. 

If you think you’ll need more general or very specific information about the customs clearance process or necessary documentation, consider reaching out to customs clearance authorities or agents to get clarity on any confusing parts.

What do I do when picking up the phone in Nigeria?

Yes, the importance of proper documentation has been highlighted at the customs clearance stage, but it’s also worth reiterating for the pickup stage. However, besides keeping the necessary documents handy, the next most important thing during pickup is to examine the package for any damages that occurred during transit and test that the phone works as it should.

The recipient needs to look for any obvious or subtle signs of mishandling or rough treatment during transit and note any visible damage or signs of tampering. Also, make sure to tilt the device under good lighting conditions and inspect it at multiple angles. If the phone was delivered to the recipient’s doorstep by the courier service, it’s a good idea to open the package in the driver’s presence if any damage is suspected. It’s also worth it to take clear pictures or videos from multiple angles if the phone is damaged. Such evidence will be useful when contacting the shipping service, especially if you’re sure the damage is not from the phone seller. 

Each shipping service will have specific instructions on how to report damage, so be sure to check their website or reach out to their support team to get these specific instructions for the best possible outcome. Also inquire about options for returning the phone if it is damaged, or receiving reimbursements. Previously insuring your shipment is also useful in this situation as it helps you get necessary reimbursements for the value of the damaged phone. Remember to prioritize transparency and thoroughness at all times during the shipping process to get the best results.

Quick Summary

All in all, there are several things to consider and plan for from the moment a need arises to send a phone from the US to Nigeria. From choosing the best shipping service to finding out about existing customs regulations and proper packaging practices, there’s a lot to keep in mind. 

For the best outcome, keep a to-do list handy to remember everything this guide has highlighted. This way, you can make sure you don’t forego any crucial step in the shipping process that could result in avoidable delays.

Also, make sure to ask questions whenever you’re unsure of instructions or requirements, and always take advantage of available knowledge resources provided by individual shipping services and relevant customs authorities in the sending and destination country.

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